Cherisse ‘Kells’ Jamison, professionally known as “Aye Yo Kells”, is now enjoying her success with The Jamison Agency, which runs her own boutique entertainment PR company. He has a long list of awards and has worked with many big names in the entertainment business, but this has not always been the case. A few years ago an abusive relationship led to a state of homelessness. Kells took on unforgettable jobs to stabilize himself financially, move into his place, and lay the groundwork for him to start working to achieve his dream of a career in the entertainment industry.
We asked Kellsi about going through hard times without giving up on your intentions, and what work is often the solution to life’s problems.
You are now successful in the entertainment PR business, but I understand that you graduated from college in 2017 and immediately experienced a dire situation. Can you tell us about that, and how it ultimately motivated you to succeed?
Yes, I relocated to Charlotte, NC where I initially had some traumatic experiences with my mother. Eventually, that trauma helped me leave her home and immediately end up in abuse. I was in that relationship for a year, I finally had the strength to leave and I ended up staying with a former friend, where we shared a one-bedroom apartment. I slept on the floor for almost a year and went into and out of the hotel rooms before finally saving enough money to go outside. Then I moved in with a roommate who was able to get a 2 bedroom apartment. I soon started working in my entertainment business and was working in a call center job. My clients were growing and it started well, so I quit my job and now I started The Jamison Agency everything two years ago.
Living all these experiences has led me to want more in life. I was always afraid of failure and felt like I had failed in those times. I want to have a successful career, I want to help take care of my family, and I have other business projects that I want to be apart of. Once I started my business fully and quit my job, I knew there was no going back.
Based on your personal experience, how do you advise women who have been abused?
I share my story with them, and give advice based on my personal experiences. It’s something that’s very sensitive to talk about being a victim of domestic violence, so I’m always empathetic with my best abilities. I am working with a kind of organization that helps victims of domestic violence.
How did you start your PR business? Who was your first big customer?
I have been working in the entertainment business for almost 12 years. I started as a journalist with the Lets Talk Hip Hop entertainment blog and there was the transition Continuing with Kells. Having my own platform allowed me to cover a wide range of red carpets, film screenings and exclusive events. I was able to connect with so many people and connect to the network, so it was easier for me when it came time to fully transition to PR. I had already worked with so many big names since I launched The Jamison Agency. The first time I worked on a PR campaign was at the rapper’s Boosie Juice Lil Boosie but my first client was the TV character as The Jamison Agency Masika Kalysha.
PR is a very person’s business. How did the pandemic affect your business?
That’s one of the biggest misconceptions, because it’s not entirely so. My PR company allows me to work with a variety of coastal clients from home. With the pandemic, there were no trips, limited events and shows to do, but if you’re a great publicist you’ve found a number of ways to get here. I also give credit to my clients; I have some awesome clients who were doing various things that kept me busy. On the contrary, whether it was the grand opening of a new business, getting married, or organizing community events, there was always something for me to own. We made six figures in the pandemic, the most successful year we’ve had in business so far.
What goals did you set for yourself when your business was new, and what are your goals when you are better established?
When I started the business I set myself the goal of getting $ 100,000 in sales by the start of the new year and opening our agency as a client to work with more entrepreneurs and brands. We achieved both of our goals and achieved sales of $ 100,000 in nine months along with several businesses in our belt. We have also partnered with sprinter and hotel companies. Our new goals are to achieve seven figures in 2022, become the official PR agency for film production, start more major clients, partner with large corporations, benefit our clients, and also open and manage an office of The Jamison Agency headquarters. Atlantan, GA.